As a narrator says, “He’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for,” the footage shows people streaming across the border. But the footage is actually from news footage of Morocco, not Mexico.
On Monday Trump’s campaign manager told NBC News that the footage was “1,000 percent on purpose,” intended to show what could happen with illegal immigration. Yet Michael Cohen, special counsel for the Trump Organization, told CNN on Tuesday that the footage was a “mistake.”
Cohen later clarified the remark, which was seemingly contradictory with that made by the campaign.
“I wasn’t aware of the question as stated, know little about the ad or campaign strategy, but after connecting with the Trump Campaign, I understand it was done that way to demonstrate that the United States has become a dumping ground for other countries who are continually taking advantage of us,” Cohen said in a statement. “I do not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign.”
Trump’s ad highlighted two of the candidate’s most controversial proposals: His plan to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, and to have Mexico pay for it; and his plan to temporarily restrict Muslims from entering the country in light of recent terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, one of Trump’s chief rivals for the GOP nomination, Ted Cruz, unveiled a campaign spot that also tackles the border issue, this time with humor. It shows well-dressed professionals trying to cross the border, to emphasize Cruz’s contention that illegal immigration is an economic issue as it is driving down wages.
“The politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers were crossing the Rio Grande,” Cruz says in the spot.
He has said at debates that coverage of the issue would be different if “a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over the border and driving down the wages of people in the press. Then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling the nation,” he said.